A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to eight and a half years' imprisonment for importing and possessing 17.9kg of methamphetamine.

It is estimated the drugs would have had a street value of up to $9 million in New Zealand.

The Canadian passport holder, Jingyuan Zhang, was allegedly on "holiday" in New Zealand, arriving with a travel companion at Auckland in January.

Zhang then stayed in temporary accommodation in south-east Auckland before he was arrested by Customs.

Advertisement

Customs examined mail from the United States addressed to the man in March and found 12 printer toner cartridges with finely powdered methamphetamine in them.

The methamphetamine would have had a street value of up to $9 million. Photo / Supplied
The methamphetamine would have had a street value of up to $9 million. Photo / Supplied

Customs followed the delivery and arrested Zhang who was sentenced in the Manukau District Court earlier today.

Customs' acting group manager intelligence, investigations and enforcement Michael Blades said the public can help protect New Zealand shores from illegal drugs.

"While we're always fine-tuning our risk assessments of travellers and packages entering the country, the public can help us protect our communities from illegal drugs.

"If you have concerns about anyone renting short-term accommodation and making out-of-the-ordinary enquiries about receiving packages, they can be reported in confidence to 0800 4 CUSTOMS or to Crimestoppers," he said.